The company says it was ‘removed in error’
On March 30, Brock Turner was found guilty on three felony counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object. After the jury’s verdict, the 20-year-old Stanford University swimmer faced the maximum prison sentence of ten years.
But, unbelievably, Turner was only sentenced to six months in prison and three years of probation. The decision has been widely criticized as being far too lenient and an obvious example white male privilege. Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, who presided over the case, sparked further outrage after making the following statement: “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” Persky said. “I think he will not be a danger to others.”
The case’s 23-year-old unnamed victim spoke out about Turner’s sentence with the following statement:
“If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.”
Turner’s sentence has sparked major outrage across the country, evidenced on social media by the widespread sharing of a meme with Turner’s photo that reads: “MY NAME IS BROCK I’M A RAPIST.” The meme shows his student-athlete photo, instead of a mug shot to illustrate that even a so-called innocent-looking Stanford student can be a rapist. The meme originated on Imgur last week and has since been shared countless times.
The original caption on Imgur read:
This is Brock. He was discovered raping an unconscious woman at Stanford last year. He was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object by a jury. The judge only gave him six months, because the young man is a swimmer and ‘A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.’
Yesterday, the meme began disappearing from Facebook feeds and the social media giant has come under fire for censoring a post that makes an important statement about sexual assualt.
Today, the company told Gizmodo that it wasn’t removed intentionally. “This content was removed in error, and we are currently working to restore it,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong. We’re very sorry about this mistake.”